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Nation needs more understanding, fewer guns

With the Fourth of July fresh in our minds, the country is still charged with patriotic pride — and that’s great. We are a first-world country. That is something to be grateful for.

However, something destructive that can come with patriotic pride is an overprotective attitude toward the Second Amendment.

Unfortunately, we don’t tend to see the same passion toward other amendments such as the 14th, 16th and recently some toward the 22nd. Arguably, these are much more important for the country to uphold.

Standing by the 14th Amendment allows those who are within the U.S. borders to be treated equally under the law.

We support taxes because they’re what allows us to have access to technology and education and to provide goods and services — things that are considered luxuries in some countries.

Lately, I’ve also heard support in allowing President Donald Trump to run as many times as he would like for president. That absolutely violates what our country says it stands against: corruption. Repealing this amendment would only allow a larger opportunity for misconduct.

Again, these are all much more vital amendments to attach to patriotic pride. Yet, people are mainly upset with the possibility of a limited Second Amendment.

But what else are people upset with concerning guns? Well, shootings in schools, holy places and concerts.

People say, “But if there was a good guy with a gun, he could’ve stopped the shooter.” Yeah, possibly. But what if multiple people have a gun? What if the “good guy” accidentally shoots someone who is innocent? What if someone else with a gun mistakes the “good guy” as another mass shooter?

What if now everyone who has guns is afraid and their adrenaline is up and they’re all now pointing guns at each other, scared, with the public around them also in a panic. What happens when the police shows up? Are the police going to automatically know who’s trying to be a hero and who’s trying to be a villain? No, in the moment they will not be able to identify who with a gun has malicious intentions.

It is not the average citizen’s job to protect the public; there’s too much room for confusion and injury.

A serious life or death situation is not your time to play superhero.

Besides the fact that the general public is not trained to protect themselves in high-stress situations, I also wonder if they know the laws concerning protecting yourself with a gun.

In Nevada, the only time protecting yourself with a gun will be considered self-defense is when the other person has a gun, has threatened you with it and is still standing their ground. Anything else, depending on the severity of the crime, will either have you jailed or fined.

The general public cannot escalate the situation by bringing out a gun, threateningly brandish a gun or shoot someone if they are running away.

I wonder if the people I see openly carrying weapons here know these laws. Someone should do a poll.

Additionally, knowing people carry and own guns at all makes others, and myself, very uncomfortable. And no, it’s not just because we’re unfamiliar with guns. I feel uneasy for two reasons: You don’t need a permit in Nevada to open carry, and that by default makes it easy to buy a gun.

I especially don’t trust people with poor mental health or control to handle a gun, a machine legitimately only made for the purpose of killing.

About a month ago now, an 18-year-old accidentally shot his girlfriend and killed her. Sad, but not that uncommon.

Accidental shots happen, increasing when guns are made more easily available. Unfortunately, self-inflicted shots also increase. Statistically, when guns are made easily available in areas, white, middle class, male suicide rates go up as well.

To be honest, I don’t trust most people’s mental stability, whether that be because of depression, anxiety, superiority complexes, anger issues, etc.

With the lack of love and understanding in our world right now, we, as average citizens, have no business wielding a weapon that’s capable of so much damage in so little time and effort.

Emily Anderson is a student at College of Southern Nevada High School. She can be reached at anderemily001@gmail.com.

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